Work in Progress – the first week

work in progressMy first week of essentially being a museum exhibit has been slightly surreal!  My office is now based in our Work in Progress exhibition and I’ve been struggling to come to terms with leaving the hustle and bustle of the office and being ‘on show’.  One of the main challenges has been feeling quite lonely without my colleagues, but I’ve had a few visitors come and say hello.  Not as many as I expected, however, so if you are in the building I’m happy to answer any questions about the project.

We kicked off the week by hosting our Acquisitions meeting in the Studio space. Members of the Collections and Engagement team met to discuss potential object and archive donations to the museum. We decided to acquire material from the public sector strikes on 11 July 2014, including leaflets, a placard and even a NUT hat. If you’re interested in donating any objects to the museum, you can find out more here.

Curated Placed launched our workshop programme with their Secret Cities: Immersion – Manchester Cityscape Workshop 1 on Monday.  The workshop was sold out and I’m excited to see how the project develops.

We’ve confirmed details of two new workshops as part of the programme. In Art of Protest on Tuesday 5 August artist David Perkins will help you to create your own protest art.  Re-Telling: Scapegoats, Media & Politics on Thursday 4 September will explore the impact of scapegoating in politics and the media.  No More Page 3 also popped in to start planning a workshop that they’ll be hosting on 13 September.  Full details to follow soon. If you’d like to host a workshop as part of Work in Progress then please get in touch.

To fill the gaps between all our exciting workshops and meetings we’ve created some activities for you to do.  Hold the Front Page! lets you create your own headlines of what you think is newsworthy. Every day I’ve printed off the front pages of all the national newspapers, and there’s been a very interesting mix of stories. Unsurprisingly, the only day all the papers agreed was Friday, with near-identical front pages reporting the atrocity of the MH17 crash.

Unfortunately our badge machine was a bit poorly so has had to be sent to machine hospital.  Once it’s been discharged you can make badges telling us how you’ve Played Your Part or plan to Play Your Part.

Debate chalkboardWe’ve been asking you to contribute to the debate and we’ve had some interesting responses on our chalkboard.  We’ve also set up a suggestions box, and comments have included ‘slavery should stop’ and ‘cool! I love it!’.

We met Harriet Andrews from Uprising who told us about their fantastic leadership projects for young people, including My Voice My Vote, a year long project in the run up to the general election.  Hopefully there will be lots of scope to work together on our Election! exhibition.

We also had a meeting with Jeff Evans from LGBT History Month to discuss plans for Manchester in Love, a groundbreaking LGBT history conference in February.  Jeff has also been helping to develop our LGBT history tour, which you can come along to on Friday 22 August.

Jamie from Friends of London Road Fire Station popped in to drop off some photographs, campaign materials and artwork.  I’ll be putting them up this week.  If you’re interested in highlighting your campaign in this way, then please get in touch on 0161 838 9190 or email catherine.odonnell@phm.org.uk.

We rounded off the week with a visit from Sheng-Wei Chang, a researcher from the 2014 International Human Rights Exchanging Program in Taiwan, who was interested in finding out more about the museum as they are setting up a Human Rights museum.

I’m excited to see what this week holds – lots more meetings, our engage NW Area meeting and the first of our Microresidencies.

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